Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Junior ESC 2012 - Belarus

Singer: Egor Zheshko
Song: A More-More
Composers: Egor Zheshko, Valery Shmat
Lyricist : Egor Zheshko

A More-More is about a bright and clear sea and happy kids under the sun. Egor Zheshko sings that life is cool and amazing.

Egor Zheshko (12) was born in Minsk on Christmas Eve 1999. He became a talented musician at a very young age. Following his mom, he gladly sang lullabies and folk songs, but when he was asked to perform a children's song in public, he refused: singing is not a man's job. His interests at the time were building combat units of soldiers, collect toy guns and sail pirate ships.

After a recommendation by his teacher Egor finally joined a pop-vocal studio, organized by the art group "Belarusians" in the music production center "Golden Voice." Last year he was one step from victory at the national selection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where he was praised for his talent and led him to a lot of competitions and concerts.

Friendly and open, Egor likes computer, chess and checkers, playing the piano and reading books. His favourite artists are Luciano Pavarotti, Joe Dassin and Patricia Kaas. He dreams of becoming a professional singer.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2005

 Helena Paparizou

Semi-final date: May 19, 2005
Final date: May 21th, 2005
Venue: Palace of Sports,Kiev, Ukraine
Presenters: Maria Efrosinina, Pavlo Shylko
Director: Sven Stojanovic
Scruteneer: Svante Stockselius
Host broadcaster: NTU
Opening act Semi-final: Ukranian artists
Opening act final: Ruslana
Interval act Semi-final: Irina Mazur
Interval act Final: Ruslana
Duration Semi-final: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Duration Final: 3 hours, 26 minutes
Number of entries: 39
Debuting countries: Bulgaria, Moldova
Returning countries: Hungary
Withdrawing countries: -
Winning Song: My number one  - Helena Paparizou, Greece
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs

The Eurovision Song Contest 2005 was the 50th Eurovision Song Contest, which was held at the Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine. The winner was Greece's My Number One, written by Greek singer-songwriters Christos Dantis and Natalia Germanou and performed by Swedish-born Greek singer Elena Paparizou, who scored 230 points, while Malta's Angel written and performed by Chiara was the runner up with 192 points and the 3rd place went to Romania's Let Me Try. The contest took place on 19 May for the semifinal and 21 May 2005 for the final. Organizers hoped that this event would boost Ukraine's image abroad and increase tourism, while the country's new government hoped that it would also give a modest boost to the long-term goal of acquiring European Union membership.


The official logo of the contest remained the same from the 2004 contest with the country's flag in the heart being changed. Following Istanbul's 'Under The Same Sky', the slogan for the 2005 show was Awakening, which symbolised the awakening of the country and city ready to present itself to Europe. The postcards for the 2005 show illustrated Ukraine’s culture and heritage along with a more modern and industrial side to the country.

Constantinos Christoforou

The hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev were television presenter Maria Masha Efrosinina and DJ Pavlo Pasha Shylko. Previous winner Ruslana returned to the stage in Kiev to perform in the interval act and to interview the contestants backstage in the green room. The famous Ukrainian boxers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko opened the televoting, while a special trophy was presented to the winner by Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko.


An official CD and DVD was released and a new introduction was an official pin set, which contains heart-shaped pins with the flags of all thirty-nine participating countries. The EBU also commissioned a book The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History by British/American author John Kennedy O'Connor to celebrate the contest's 50th anniversary. The book was presented on screen during the break between songs 12 and 13 (Serbia and Montenegro, Denmark). The book was published in English, German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Finnish.

During the semi final, there were a few volume falls in the sound, most notably during the Norwegian song, shortly after the intro. These were not fixed for the DVD release.

Participating countries

The newcomers to the Contest were Bulgaria and Moldova, while Hungary returned after a hiatus since their last entry in the 1998 contest. Lebanon was also expected to make a début with the song Quand tout s'enfuit, performed by Aline Lahoud, but was forced to withdraw after announcing they would show commercials over the Israeli entry. Many of the favourites with bookmakers; notably Iceland, Belarus, and the Netherlands; failed to qualify from the semifinal in perhaps the biggest shock of the year's contest. It is also notable that Ireland, the only seven-time Eurovision winner, failed to qualify for the final. In the final itself, the host Ukraine along with the so-called Big 4 (Spain, United Kingdom, France, and Germany – the biggest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union, who automatically qualify) occupied the bottom five places of the scoreboard, the first (and only) time in Eurovision history such a thing happened to those countries.

Glennis Grace


2005 was no exception for scandals regarding the representatives from the countries participating. Germany's entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest rejected calls to quit after her producer admitted manipulating the country's pop charts with mass purchases of her single. Gracia Baur, defended her producer David Brandes, also behind Swiss entry Vanilla Ninja, and said she would go to the finals in Kiev despite complaints from other German singers. Bulgaria's debut was overshadowed by a scandal. The song Lorraine by Kaffe was accused of plagiarism. The song sounded too similar to another one released by Ruslan Mainov in 2001. There were also problems in Malta with the electricity supply during the contest, so TV viewers were unable to watch their national selection from the very beginning. There was a controversy regarding the Turkish entry: TRT got a false jury which led to the victory of the song Gülseren, which the 2003 winner Sertab Erener said was not the best choice. There were similar controversies in Macedonia which led to an eventual victory for Martin Vučić. The Ukrainian song had to be changed because it would bring a political message to the people, and EBU stated that no politics could be involved in the contest. The entry for Serbia and Montenegro was also overshadowed by a scandal and an accusation of plagiarism. Portugal's entry, Amar, had had very poor sound quality, with the female singer's microphone failing many times on stage.

It is also notable that the programme lasted just short of 3.5 hours. This was mainly due to the extremely long voting procedure, where 39 countries voted, reading out every single score. Many people, including United Kingdom commentator Terry Wogan, noticed this and commented about the marathon-like voting procedure, when Russia voted he stated How more countries we got? What time is it?. Because the show overran so badly, the EBU changed the way the votes were announced in 2006 into a much shorter method, where only the top 3 scores were read out (the rest appeared on the scoreboard automatically).

Ruslana was also intended to be a presenter for the show, but was pulled out before the contest for numerous reasons, including her poor English skills. She opened the contest, and did do a few brief interviews in the green room at a few different stages in the event.

Donna and Joe


The EBU introduced an undisclosed threshold number of televotes that would have to be registered in each voting country in order to make that country's votes valid. If that number was not reached, the country's backup jury would vote instead. In the final this affected Monaco, Andorra and Moldova but in the semi final, Andorra, Monaco and Albania all used the backup jury for this reason.

Returning countries

Four artists who had previously taken part in the contest returned in 2005, giving both success and failure: Greece's Elena Paparizou and Malta's Chiara both returned after coming third in previous contests (in 2001 and 1998 respectively), and made up the top two places in the final. The Cypriot entry Constantinos Christoforou returned after coming ninth in 1996 and sixth in 2002 (as a member of the group One), however he wasn't able to replicate his past success, placing 18th in the final. Selma returned for Iceland after being runner-up in 1999, however she too failed to replicate her past success, failing to qualify from the semi-final.

Marcel Bezençon Awards

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Composer Award.

Artists Award: Greece, Helena Paparizou - My number one
Composer Award: Serbia & Montenegro, Sauvek tvoja - Slaven Knezovic & Milan Peric
Press Award: Malta: Chiara - Angel

Omar Naber


Semi-finalThe semi-final was held on 19 May 2005 at 21:00 (CET). 25 countries performed and all 39 participants voted.

01. Austria: Global Kryner - Y asi (21st place, 30 points)
02. Lithuania: Laura & the Lovers - Little by little (25th place, 17 points)
03. Portugal: 2B - amar (17th place, 51 points)
04. Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub - Boonika bate toba (2nd place, 207 points)
05. Latvia: Walters and Kazha - The war is not over (10th place, 85 points)
06. Monaco: Lise Darly - Tout de moi (24th place, 22 points)
07. Israel: Shiri Maimon - Hasheket shenish'ar (7th place, 158 points)
08. Belarus: Angelica Agurbash - Love me tonight (13th place, 67 points)
09. The Netherlands: Glennis Grace - My impossible dream (14th place, 53 points)
10. Iceland: Selma - If I had your love (16th place, 52 points)
11. Belgium: Nuno Resende - Le grand soir (22nd place, 29 points)
12. Estonia: Suntribe - Let's get loud (20th place, 31 points)
13. Norway: Wig Wam - In my dreams (6th place, 164 points)
14. Romania: Luminita Anghel and Sistem - Let me try (1st place, 235 points)
15. Hungary: NOX - Forogj, világ! (5th place, 167 points)
16. Finland: Geir Rönning - Why (18th place, 50 points)
17. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Martin Vučić - Make my day (9th place, 97 points)
18. Andorra: Marian van de Wal - La mirada interior (23rd place, 27 points)
19. Switzerland: Vanilla Ninja - Cool vibes (8th place, 114 points)
20. Croatia: Boris Novković feat Lado Members - Vukovi umiru sami (4th place, 169 points)
21. Bulgaria: Kaffe - Lorraine (19th place, 49 points)
22. Ireland: Donna and Joe - Love? (14th, 53 points)
23. Slovenia: Omar Naber - Stop (12th place, 69 points)
24. Denmark: Jakob Sveistrup - Talking to you (3rd place, 185 points)
25. Poland: Ivan & Delfin - Czarna dziewczyna (11th place, 81 points)

Shiri Maimon


The finalists were:

the four automatic qualifiers France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom;
the top 10 countries from the 2004 final (other than the automatic qualifiers);
the top 10 countries from the 2005 semi-final.

01. Hungary: NOX - Forogj, világ! (12th place, 97 points)
02. UK: Javine - Touch my fire (22nd place, 18 points)
03. Malta: Chiara - Angel (2nd place, 192 points)
04. Romania: Luminiţa Anghel and Sistem - Let me try (3rd place, 158 points)
05. Norway: Wig Wam - In my dreams (9th place, 125 points)
06. Turkey: Gülseren - Rimi rimi ley (13th place, 92 points)
07. Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub - Boonika bate doba (6th place, 148 points)
08. Albania: Ledina Çelo - Tomorrow I go (16th place, 53 points)
09. Cyprus: Constantinos Christoforou - Ela ela (18th place, 46 points)
10. Spain: Son de Sol - Brujería (21st place, 28 points)
11. Israel: Shiri Maimon - Hasheket Shenish'ar (4th place, 154 points)
12. Serbia and Montenegro: No Name - Zauvijek moja (7th place, 137 points)
13. Denmark: Jakob Sveistrup - Talking to you (9th place, 125 points)
14. Sweden: Martin Stenmarck- Las Vegas (19th place, 30 points)
15. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Martin Vučić - Make my day (17th place, 52 points)
16. Ukraine: GreenJolly - Razom nas bahato (19th place, 30 points)
17. Germany: Gracia - Run & hide (24th place, 4 points)
18. Croatia: Boris Novković & Lado Members - Vukovi umiru sami (11th place, 115 points)
19. Greece: Helena Paparizou - My number one (1st place, 230 points)
20. Russia: Natalia Podolskaya - Nobody hurt no one (15th place, 57 points)
21. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Feminnem - Call me (14th place, 79 points)
22. Switzerland: Vanilla Ninja - Cool vibes (8th place, 128 points)
23. Latvia: Walters and Kazha - The war is not over (5th place, 152 points)
24. France: Ortal - Chacun pense à soi (23rd place, 11 points)

The final was held on 21 May 2005 at 21:00 (CET) and was won by Greece.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2004


Semi-final date: May 12, 2004
Final date: May 15th, 2004
Venue: Abdi İpekçi Arena, Istanbul, Turkey
Presenters: Korhan Abay, Meltem Cumbul
Director: Sven Stojanovic
Scruteneer: Svante Stockselius
Host broadcaster: TRT
Opening act: Sertab erener
Interval act Semi-final: ABBA: The Last Video
Interval act Final: Fire of Anatolia
Duration Semi-final: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Duration Final: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Number of entries: 36
Debuting countries: Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Serbia an Montenegro
Returning countries: Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Monaco, Switzerland
Withdrawing countries:
Winning Song: Wild Dances  - Ruslana, Ukraine
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs

The Eurovision Song Contest 2004, was the 49th Contest and it was held in the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. This was the first occasion in which the contest was held in Turkey after they had won the competition in 2003 with Sertab Erener singing Everyway That I Can. The hosting national broadcaster of the contest was Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).


Ukrainian singer Ruslana Lyzhychko won the contest with Wild Dances. It is notable that this was only Ukraine's second participation in the contest. This was also the third year in a row in which the contest was won by a woman, performing a song composed by Aleksandr Ksenofontov, Jamie Maher, Ruslana Lyzchicko, Michael Fayne and Sherena Dugani.

To accommodate the increasing number of countries who wished to participate, a semi-final was introduced.


The contest was held in Istanbul following Turkey's victory in the 2003 contest in Riga, Latvia with Sertab Erener's Everyway That I Can. Originally the Mydonose Showland was chosen by TRT to host the event, but was changed to the Abdi İpekçi Arena as the contest approached due to its bigger capacity.The presenters of the Semi-final and the Final were Korhan Abay and Meltem Cumbul.

In the semi-final and the final, Meltem Cumbul warmed up the audience with a sing-a-long of Eurovision classic Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare), originally by Domenico Modugno. Sertab Erener returned to the stage in the final to perform Everyway That I Can, the 2003 winning song, and one of her new songs called Leave. Sertab also interviewed contestants in the green room. The Turkish dance ensemble Fire of Anatolia performed as the interval act. An official CD was released and, for the first time, the entire contest was released on DVD which included the Semi-Final and the Grand Final.

The contest's new official generic logo was used for the first time this year, with the heart-shaped flag in the centre due to be changed for future contests. The slogan for Istanbul's contest was Under The Same Sky, which communicated the importance of a united Europe and Turkish integration.


This year was also notable as it was the first year that Turkey voted for Cyprus and the second year in a row that Cyprus voted for Turkey. Nevertheless, in a move that angered some Cypriots, when the country presented its votes no map of the island was shown (all other presenters were preceded with their country being highlighted on a map). This was due to Turkey's recognition of the northern half of the island as an independent republic (not recognised by any other state). It is likely Turkey pulled out of showing the map because it would have only highlighted the southern portion of the island, and thus angered the international community.

This was also the first year that the scores were only re-read by the hosts in one language. Before 2004 every point was repeated in French and English, but due to 36 countries voting, and more in years to come, in 2004 to save time the hosts only re-read each score in one language. This was in the opposite of the original country representative spoke in.

Also, this year was the first time in which a non-winning entry scored over 200 points. Prior to this contest, only Rock 'n' Roll Kids and Love Shine a Light, the winners on 1994 and 1997 had passed this mark. On this contest, all songs in the top 3 got over 200 points.

This year's Eurovision contest was the first to be a two-day event, with one qualifying round held on a Wednesday and the grand final held on the following Saturday. Under this new format, byes into the final were given to the 'Big 4'; France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom (as the largest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union) and the ten highest placed finishers in the 2003 contest. Andorra, Albania, Belarus and Serbia and Montenegro participated in the Contest for the first time, with Monaco returning after a 25-year absence. Luxembourg were due to return after an absence of 11 years, but later pulled out after money issues arose between RTL and the EBU. All participating countries had the right to vote in both the qualifying round and the grand final. This was the first year in which all 36 participating countries voted based on a public phone vote. However France, Poland and Russia did not broadcast the semi-final (as they were not participating in it) and therefore did not give votes for it like the other thirty-three countries.



Just before the Slovenian entry was about to be performed, the Turkish broadcaster accidentally took a commercial break which meant the Slovenian song was not heard by Turkish viewers and consequently, Turkey gave no votes for the song. There were technical problems when in a short hiatus halfway through the songs, (used for the advertising break), the hosts tried to contact various parties in Europe. They tried contacting Germany, Spain and Turkey, but in the end were only able to get a response from Germany. During the Romanian postcard introduction, the information for the Romanian entry appeared on the screen, but was quickly taken away. A final minor hiccup occurred when, on her way to present the winner the trophy, Sertab Erener got her shoe stuck in a speaker grill by the side of the stage and had to be freed by stagehands. However this didn't delay proceedings, and other than the above the show ran smoothly.

An hour after the semi-final had been aired, the European Broadcasting Union discovered that there had been problems with the vote counting in Monaco and Croatia. Digame, an affiliate of Deutsche Telekom, who had been responsible for processing all the votes, reported that they had encountered problems with their calculation software, and there was a problem with text message voting in Croatia. When the votes were counted, results showed that Croatia had awarded themselves 4 points, which is against Eurovision rules. Later, an official EBU statement read that there had been technical problems at the side of the Croatian mobile service provider, who neglected to delete the illegal votes from the results. Consequently, some votes were not counted in the results announced at the end of the broadcast of the semi-final. When the results were corrected to include these additional votes, they were found not to have affected which countries had qualified for the Final.


Every country in the competition, including those who did not qualify for the final, were allowed to vote for other countries. After all performances were completed, each country opened their phone lines to allow their viewers to vote for their favourite song. Voting for the country in which you are situated is not allowed, however. Each country awarded points based on the number of votes cast for each song: the song which received the most viewer votes was awarded 12 points, the second 10 points, the third 8 points and then 7, 6, 5, etc. down to 1.

In the event of a tie, the number of countries to vote for the tying songs would be counted, and the song having the most countries awarding points to it, would be the winner. In the event of a further tie, then the previously used method of counting back on the number of 12 points, 10 points etc., would be used to find an eventual winner.

Sakis Rouvas


The semi-final was held on 12 May 2004 at 21:00 (CET). 22 countries performed and all participants voted except France, Poland and Russia. The 10 best scoring countries went on to perform in the Final.

01. Finland: Jari Sillanpää - Takes 2 to Tango (14th place, 51 points)
02. Belarus: Aleksandra  Konstantin - My Galileo (19th place, 10 points)
03. Switzerland: Piero and the MusicStars - Celebrate (22th place, 0 points)
04. Latvia: Formins & Kleins - Dziesma par laimi (17th place, 23 points)
05. Israel: David D'Or - Leha'amin (11th place, 57 points)
06. Andorra: Marta Roure - Jugarem a estimar-nos (18th place, 12 points)
07. Portugal: Sofia Vitória - Foi magia (15th place, 38 points)
08. Malta: Julie & Ludwig - On again...off again (8th place, 74 points)
09. Monaco: Maryon - Notre planète (19th place, 10 points)
10. Greece: Sakis Rouvas - Shake it (3rd place, 238 points)
11. Ukraine: Ruslana - Wild dances (2nd place, 256 points)
12. Lithuania: Linas & Simona - What's happened to your love (16th place, 26 points)
13. Albania: Anjeza Shahini - The image of you (4th place, 167 points)
14. Cyprus: Lisa Andreas - Stronger every minute (5th place, 149 points)
15. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Toše Proeski - Life (10th place, 71 points)
16. Slovenia: Platin - Stay forever (21st place, 5 points)
17. Estonia: Neiokõsõ - Tii (11th place, 57 points)
18. Croatia: Ivan Mikulić - You are the only one (9th place, 72 points)
19. Denmark: Thomas Thordarson - Shame on you (13th place, 56 points)
20. Serbia & Montenegro: Željko Joksimović - Lane moje (1st place, 263 points)
21. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen - In the disco (7th place, 133 points)
22. The Netherlands: Re-Union - Without you (6th place, 146 points)

During the break a new ABBA video was shown in the semi final, briefly outlining how ABBA started and what the response was of the first record company the approached. It featured small puppets of the band performing snippets of their songs (the voices being the ones of the band) and featured Rik Mayall as the record company manager. This was cut from the Eurovision Song Contest DVD and released separately. References to the video that were made running up to the showing of it were also cut.


The finalists were:

    the four automatic qualifiers France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom;
    the top 10 countries from the 2003 contest (other than the automatic qualifiers);
    the top 10 countries from the 2004 semi-final.


The final was held on 15 May 2004 at 21:00 (CET) and was won by Ukraine.

01. Spain: Ramón - Para llenarme de ti (10th place, 87 points)
02. Austria: Tie Break - Du bist (21st place, 9 points)
03. Norway: Knut Anders Sørum - High (24th place, 3 points)
04. France: Jonathan Cerrada - A chaque pas (15th place, 40 points)
05. Serbia & Montenegro: Željko Joksimović  - Lane moje (2nd place, 263 points)
06. Malta: Julie & Ludwig - On again....off again (12th place, 50 points)
07. The Netherlands: Re-union - Without you (20th place, 11 points)
08. Germany: Max - Can't wait until tonight (8th place, 93 points)
09. Albania: Anjeza Shahini - The image of you (7th place, 106 points)
10. Ukraine: Ruslana - Wild dances (1st place, 280 points)
11. Croatia: Ivan Mikulić -  You are the only one (12th place, 50 points)
12. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen - In the disco (9th place, 91 points)
13. Belgium: Xandee - 1 Life (22nd place, 7 points)
14. Russia: Julia Savicheva - Believe me (11th place, 67 points)
15. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Toše Proeski - Life (14th place, 47 points)
16. Greece: Sakis Rouvas - Shake it (3rd place, 252 points)
17. Iceland: Jónsi - Heaven (19th place, 16 points)
18. Ireland: Chris Doran - If my wordld stopped turning (22nd place, 7 points)
19. Poland: Blue Café - Love song (17th place, 27 points)
20. UK: James Fox - Hold on to your love (16th place, 29 points)
21. Cyprus: Lisa Andreas - Stronger every minute (5th place, 170 points)
22. Turkey: Athena - For real (4th place, 195 points)
23. Romania: Sanda - I admit (18th place, 18 points)
24. Sweden: Lena Philipsson - It hurts (5th place, 170 points)

Marcel Bezençon Awards

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Composer Award.

Artists Award: Ukraine, Ruslana - Wild Dances
Composer Award: Cyprus, Stronger every minute - Mike Konnaris
Press Award: Serbia and Montenegro: Željko Joksimović - Lane moje

Returning artists

For the second consecutive year, no returning acts were present. This was only the sixth time (including 1956) in the history of the contest that this happened and it was the first time this had happened in two consecutive years.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Conchita Wurst

Thomas Neuwirth, better know by his stage name Conchita Wurst, born on November 6 1988 in Gmunden Oberösterreich, is an Austrian singer and drag artist.

Thomas grew up in the Styrian municipality Bad Mittendorf. In 2006 he took part in the third season of the talent show Star Mania. He finished in second place behind Nadine Beiler. In 2007 he started the boyband Jetzt Anders! Other members of the band were Falco De Jong Luneau, Johnny K. Palmer and Martin Zerza. In that same year they broke up.

In 2011 he participated as Conchita Wurst at the ORF-talentshow Die große Chance. In 2012 Conchita took part at Österreich rockt den Song Contest, the Austrian national final for the ESC with the song That's what I am which came 2nd.

The Second Chance Contest 2012

 Pastora Soler

The Second Chance Contest 2012

This year's OGAE Second Chance Contest took place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The winner of the Second Chance Contest 2012 is Spain with Pastora Soler and her song Tu vida es tu vida. I think the song is okay but my favourite was Thats what I am by Conchita Wurst from Austria.

Here are the results of the S.C.C. 2012:

01. Pastora Soler – Tu vida es tu vida (Spain) 201
02. Danny Saucedo – Amazing (Sweden) 200
03. Reidun Sæther – High on Love (Norway) 190
04. Jesper Nohrstedt – Take Our Hearts (Denmark) 175
05. Conchita Wurst – That’s What I Am (Austria) 132
06. Magni Ásgeirsson – Hugarró (Iceland) 111
07. Dima Bilan & Yulia Volkova – Back to Her Future (Russia) 102
08. Eva Boto – A si sanjal me (Slovenia) 95
09. Lenna – Mina jään (Estonia) 68
10. Ivi Adamou – You Don’t Belong Here (Cyprus) 64
11. Ornella de Santis – Quietly (Germany) 59
12. Raffaëla Paton – Chocolatte (Netherlands) 36
13. Ricardo Soler – Gratia plena (Portugal) 35
14. Iris – Safety Net (Belgium 12
15. Ville Eetvartti – Lasikaupunki (Finland) 11
16. Cassiopeia – Killer Bee (Greece) 9
17. Roberts Pētersons – She’s a Queen (Latvia) 6
18. Donna McCaul – Mercy (Ireland) 2
19. Beissoul – Why (Lithuania) 0

You can click here if you want more information about the Second Chance Contest.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2003

 Sertab Erener

Date: May 24, 2003
Venue: Skonto Hall, Riga, Latvia
Presenters: Marija Naumova, Renārs Kaupers
Director: Sven Stojanovic
Scruteneer: Sarah Yuen
Host broadcaster: LTV
Interval act: Music from Latvia
Duration: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Number of entries: 26
Debuting countries: Ukraine
Returning countries: Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal
Withdrawing countries: Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Switzerland
Winning Song: Every way that I can  - Sertab Erener, Turkey
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs


01. Iceland: Birgitta Haukdal - Open your heart (8th place, 81 points)
02. Austria: Alf Poier - Weil der Mensch zählt (6th place, 101 points)
03. Ireland: Mickey Joe Harte - We've got the world (11th place, 53 points)
04. Turkey: Sertab Erener - Every way that I can (1st place, 167 points)
05. Malta: Lynn Chircop - To dream again (25th place, 4 points)
06. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Mija Martini - Ne brini (16th place, 27 points)
07. Portugal: Rita Guerra - Deixa-me sonhar (22nd place, 13 points)
08. Croatia: Claudia Beni - Više nisam tvoja (15th place, 29 points)
09. Cyprus: Stelios Konstantas - Feeling Alive (20th place, 15 points)
10. Germany: Lou - Let's get happy (11th place, 53 points)
11. Russia: t.A.T.u. - Ne ver', ne boysia (3rd place, 164 points)
12. Spain: Beth - Dime (8th place, 81 points)
13. Israel: Lior Narkas - Words for love (19th place, 17 points)
14. The Netherlands: Esther Hart - One more night (13th place, 45 points)
15. UK: Jemini - Cry baby (26th place, 0 points)
16. Ukraine: Oleksandr Ponomaryov - Hasta la vista (14th place, 30 points)
17. Greece: Mando - Never let you go (17th place, 25 points)
18. Norway: Jostein Hasselgård - I'm not afraid to move on (4th place, 123 points)
19. France: Louisa Baïleche - Monts et merveilles (18th place, 19 points)
20. Poland: Ich Troje - Keine Grenzen-Żadnych granic (7th place, 90 points)
21. Latvia: F.L.Y. - Hello from Mars (24th place, 5 points)
22. Belgium: Urban Trad - Sanomi (2nd place, 165 points)
23. Estonia: Ruffus - Eighties coming back (21st place, 14 points)
24. Romania: Nicola - Don't break my heart (10th place, 73 points)
25. Sweden: Fame: Give me your love (5th place, 107 points)
26. Slovenia: Karmen Stavec - Nanana (23rd place, 7 points)

Esther Hart

The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 was the 48th Eurovision Song Contest, held at the Skonto Hall in Riga, Latvia on May 24 2003. The hosts were Marie N and Renārs Kaupers. Sertab Erener, the Turkish entrant, won the contest with Everyway That I Can, scoring 167 points. The winning songwriters were Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan. Belgium and Russia were second and third respectively, within three points of Turkey's score.


The 2003 contest was the last to take place over one evening; in 2004 a semi-final system was introduced. Twenty-six countries competed, at the time the biggest field in the contest's history. Six countries that sat out the 2002 contest returned from relegation, and were joined by Ukraine, making its debut, with Ukrainian heartthrob Oleksandr Ponomaryov singing Hasta La Vista, co-written by Israel's Svika Pick, who composed the 1998 Eurovision winner, Diva. The 2003 contest's start-list was the last to be influenced by the relegation rule.

The pre-contest favourites, Russia's t.A.T.u., attracted much media attention. Among the other noteworthy contestants were Alf Poier, an outspoken comedian representing Austria; Ich Troje, who attempted to represent two countries; and F.L.Y., a trio of musical veterans representing the host country. Jemini, representing the United Kingdom, finished the contest without a point, the first British entrants to do so.

This was also the fifth time in the history of the contest (including 1956) that no returning artists or acts were featured. All artists taking part in the contest this year did it for the first time.

Jostein Hasselgård


Latvia won the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest on May 25 2002, represented by Marie N performing I Wanna. It was Latvia's first victory, and meant that LTV would host the 2003 contest. Arvids Babris, head of the Latvian delegation at the 2002 contest, said that although LTV's funds were limited, the broadcaster would host the 2003 event; later, the Latvian government pledged €2.3 million for the event. The Skonto Hall in Riga, which seats 5,000 spectators, was chosen to host the contest. Babris was appointed as its producer. In December 2002, LTV announced that the contest would be hosted by Marie N, alongside Renars Kaupers, the lead singer of Brainstorm, the Latvian representatives at the 2000 contest. In March 2003, Danish newspaper B.T. reported that the contest could be moved as it was running behind schedule; the general director of LTV, Uldis Grava, replied, saying: "We [Grava, Bjorn Erichsen of Danmarks Radio and Werner Rumphorst of the EBU] talked about co-operation and about programme exchanges, and neither of them said a single word that would indicate any doubts, lack of trust or accusation." Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Television produced the contest for the second year running (with Sven Stojanovic as director), and Swedish lighting company Spectra+, having supplied the 2000 and 2002 contests, were involved for the third time. The contest's tagline was Magical Rendez-vous. An official CD of the contest was released, on the EMI/CMC label.

Participating countries

Twenty-four countries participated in the 2002 contest in Tallinn; of these, fourteen were expected to compete in 2003. The bottom ten in Tallinn would be relegated, to allow countries to compete for the first time. In reality, only five countries were relegated—nineteen countries that entered in 2002 competed in Riga. Macedonia, Finland, Switzerland, Lithuania and Denmark were forced to sit out the contest. The nineteen qualifiers were joined by the six countries that had sat out the 2002 contest: Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal. The twenty-sixth contestant was Ukraine, making its debut at the contest. Originally, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania and Belarus had planned 2003 debuts, but the EBU's late changes to the relegation procedure meant that they could not compete. All three nations made their debuts in 2004. RTBF was the Belgian broadcaster at the forty-eighth contest, marking the first Walloon entry since 2000. Twenty-six entries was the highest number in the contest's history at that point; it remains the most to have competed in a Eurovision final, and was subsequently equalled nine years later in 2012. The draw for the running order took place in December 2002 in Riga: Iceland would open the contest and Slovenia would complete it.


National selections

Austria, having failed to finish in the top five at Eurovision since 1989, selected comedian Alf Poier to represent them in a televised national final on 14 March 2003. Poier beat former Eurovision contestant Petra Frey into second place. He described his song, Weil der Mensch zählt, as a hymn to individualism and against collectivism. Ireland, back from relegation, used a reality series, You're A Star, to select their entry. The winner was Mickey Harte; his Eurovision song reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart. Spain also used a reality series; Beth, a runner-up of Operación Triunfo was chosen. Ich Troje tried to represent Poland and Germany with different songs: they won the Polish final on 27 January with Keine Grenzen-Żadnych granic; performed in Polish, German and Russian), but lost in Germany. A member of the Belgian group, Urban Trad, was expelled from the group after it was reported that she had been a member of a far-right political group—this was later denied by the group as the reason for her absence.

In Latvia, three former Eirodziesma contestants won the right to represent the host country as F.L.Y., performing Hello From Mars. Sweden's Melodifestivalen took place on 15 March at the Globen in Stockholm; Fame won the right to represent the country in Riga. Estonia chose Claire's Birthday as their representative—the band later changed their name to Ruffus. Among the contestants to be chosen internally (without a televised selection) were t.A.T.u. from Russia: the self-styled duo had already scored a chart-topper throughout Europe with All the Things She Said, and quickly became favourites to win the contest.

Twelve languages were represented at the contest: eleven real and one constructed. Belgium's Sanomi was described by its composer as a danceable folk pearl sung in an imaginary and thus universal language. Most of the entries included lyrics in English.


Eurovision week

Full preparations for the 2003 contest began on May 18 2003 at the Skonto Hall. There were rehearsals, press conferences and participants were also involved in an Internet chat. The first performer to rehearse was Birgitta Haukdal from Iceland, on May 19; she was also first at the Press Centre and on the web chat. t. A.T.u.'s first rehearsal dominated proceedings on May 20—the band were supposed to rehearse the day before, but had turned up a day late, claiming that Yulia Volkova was suffering from a sore throat. The group were booed by journalists at the Press Centre. Sarah Yuen from the EBU said They are the bad girls of pop…we shouldn’t have expected them to come here and be nice and pleasant. With the entrants' press conferences and web chats completed, two dress rehearsals were held on May 23, in front of an estimated 12,000 people. The organisers of the contest held a press conference; one of the issues complained about was the lack of invitations for the after-party. The final dress rehearsal was held on May 24, the day of the contest. A simulation of the voting procedure was also held, in which the presenters linked up with all twenty-six countries by satellite for the first time.

On the day of the contest, bookmaker William Hill's odds placed Russia as joint favourites to win the contest with Spain. Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Norway and Iceland were behind in third, fourth and joint fifth respectively. Austria, at 100-1, were favourites to finish last. A separate bookmaker also placed Russia to win, but were only joint favourites with the United Kingdom.


The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 began at 22:00 EEST (19:00 UTC) on Saturday 24 May 2003. Among the 6,000 spectators were several Latvian government ministers. In between the entries, touristy film clips of the contestants were shown. Elton John spoke to the presenters from Vienna and one astronaut and one cosmonaut—Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko—gave their greetings from the International Space Station. Alf Poier performed Weil der Mensch zählt flanked by stuffed farmyard animals. The Turkish entry, Everyway That I Can performed by Sertab Erener, featured a mix of rhythm and belly dance. Romania's Nicola was joined by dancers holding cardboard records. By contrast, Jostein Hasselgård performed the Norwegian entry at a piano, without any movement from his backing singers. Malta's performer, Lynn Chircop, threw a flower into the audience during her performance of To Dream Again. Before the voting began, short clips of the songs were played, in reverse order, beginning with the final song. The interval act featured Renars Kaupers' band, Brainstorm, and Marie N performing in a filmed sequence.

Alf Poier


The EBU reintroduced televoting as an obligatory voting mode in all participating countries, which awarded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their ten favourite songs, in ascending order. Countries voted in the same order as they had performed. Bosnia & Herzegovina and Russia used juries, due to the countries' poor telecommunications.[34] Poland's voting was done entirely by text message;[36] all other countries planned to use a televote. This contest was also the first to introduce a computer-generated scoreboard which rearranged itself in order as the points were awarded.

Among the spokespeople were three former Eurovision contestants: Marlayne for the Netherlands in 1999, Ines for Estonia in 2000, and Sandrine François for France in 2002. Kattis Ahlström, co-host of the 2000 contest, announced the Swedish results.

Iceland were first to vote: they awarded their twelve points to Norway, giving Jostein Hasselgård an early lead. Austria were next, awarding one point to Germany and twelve points to Turkey. The jury in Sarajevo also awarded their twelve points to Turkey. As Bosnian spokesperson Ana Vilenica announced the votes, she mistakenly awarded five points to Croatia, rather than Austria. As a result, she had to announce the results again from the beginning. Terry Wogan, meanwhile, jokingly remarked That's OK, you're fired! For the first time, Cyprus managed to award points to Turkey (eight, in fact) and, as usual, awarded twelve points to Greece, amidst booing in the hall—Greece reciprocated. The Russian jury awarded twelve points to Romania. Ukraine, making their debut, gave their twelve points to Russia. The host country's top score also went to t.A.T.u.; Russia picked up five twelve-point scores in total.

With just Slovenia left to vote, Belgium's Urban Trad led the contest with 162 points with their song Sanomi sung in an imaginary language, with Turkey second with 157 and Russia third with 152. Three points were awarded to Belgium, putting them on 165 and leaving Russia out of the running. Turkey won ten points, giving them a nail-biting victory with 167 points. The final twelve points went to Russia, leaving them on 164. Norway were fourth and Sweden fifth, with the United Kingdom last, without a point.

 Mickey Joe Harte


Turkey's victory meant that it would stage the 2004 contest. During the week of the contest, the EBU unveiled a two-night system for the contest in 2004: a semi-final would be held before a grand final. The Big Four, along with the top ten from the 2003 contest, would automatically qualify for the 2004 final. The fourteen eventual qualifiers were Turkey, Belgium, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Spain, Iceland, Romania, Ireland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. All the other countries would compete in the semi.

After the contest, Russia's Channel One complained that Irish broadcaster RTÉ had used a back-up jury, and that it had cost them victory. A statement by Channel One said Considering [the] insignificant difference in points between the first and third places, there are grounds to believe that the contest results could be much different for Russia. RTÉ responded by publishing the unused results of the Irish televote, which showed that had the jury not been used, Turkey would still have won, and Ireland's voting partners, the United Kingdom, would still have no points.

The United Kingdom's last-place finish was greeted with much consternation in the British media. Terry Wogan, long-time commentator on the contest for the BBC, said that the UK was suffering from post-Iraq backlash. Chris Cromby from Jemini said The monitors were off. Maybe it was sabotage, but we couldn't hear anything...we used the floor monitors, the others used their own. The UK's result was their worst-ever at Eurovision; by contrast, Turkey's win was their first. Alf Poier's sixth place was Austria's best result for fourteen years, Poland's seventh place was their best in nine, and Romania's tenth place was one place behind their best-ever. Belgium's second place was their first top-five finish in seventeen years, but Latvia's third-from-bottom finish was their worst result in four attempts; it was also the worst placing for a host country since 1992.

Marcel Bezençon Awards

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Fan Award.

Artists Award: The Netherlands, Esther Hart - One more night
Fan Award: Spain, Beth - Dime
Press Award: Turkey, Sertab erener - Every way that I can

Friday, 19 October 2012



Anabela Braz Pires (born September 22, 1976 in Almada) is a Portuguese singer and musical theatre actress, best known in Portugal by her first name, Anabela. For her album Nós which was released in 2010 Anabela covered the Portuguese entry of the ESC 1974 E depois do adeus.

Her career in music has spanned over two decades, and she is well known for representing Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest, her work as a solo recording artist and her work in musical theatre collaborating with producer Filipe La Féria. In a 2006 interview with Selecções do Reader's Digest, she joked that in the national consciousness, she went from being known as the Eurovision girl to the La Féria girl.

Anabela started singing professionally at the age of 8, participating in various children's festivals. In 1989, at age 12, she won the Grande Noite do Fado. That year she represented Portugal at the UNICEF Song Festival in the Netherlands where she received second place and won the Danny Kaye Award for Best Interpreter.

In 1991, she participated in the Sopot International Song Festival representing Portugal with the song Brother. From there, she released albums in 1991 and 1992.

In 1993 Anabela won Festival RTP da Canção with the song A cidade (até ser dia) In Millstreet, at the ESC, she came 10th with 60 points. The song was the lead single on her third album, also called A cidade, até ser dia.

Her fourth album, released in 1996, was called Primeiras Águas. That year she also participated in Filipe La Féria's children's musical Jasmim ou o Sonho do Cinema. In 1999, Anabela worked with La Féria again, starring in the musical Koko. She released another album that same year, heralded by HMV Japan as the new generation of fado, called Origens.

In 2000, she recorded four tracks with the Galician musician Carlos Núñez for his album Mayo Longo, and participated in the promotional tour, which lasted two and a half years and took her around the world. Returning to Portugal in 2002, she continued her association with La Féria, playing protagonist Eliza Doolittle in the Lisbon production of My Fair Lady.

In 2005, she released her first album in six years, which was an interpretation of poems called Aether. With the help of Carlos Maria Trindade, she interpreted the poems of Portuguese writers Florbela Espanca, Fernando Pessoa, Manuel Alegre and José Carlos Ary dos Santos. She also released a Spanish version of her album on Resistencia Records. In March 2006, she performed three special concerts in Spain and two in the Azores, performing some of the works on the Aether album.

In 2006, Anabela and popular singer Lúcia Moniz took turns playing the part of Maria von Trapp in Música no Coração, the Portuguese production of The Sound of Music at the Teatro Politeama in Lisbon. This was a continuation of Anabela's working relationship with La Féria, as he directed the production.

In December 2007 the show was taken on the road to Porto, where Anabela reprised her role at the Teatro Rivoli with Wanda Stuart. The musical celebrated its 500th show in Portugal, in April 2008, and finished its run on May 4, 2008.

Taking a break of less than a month, Anabela returned to the stage on May 30, 2008, at the Teatro Politeama, in Lisbon, working again with La Féria. She stepped into the role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Cristo Superstar, the Lisbon production of Jesus Christ Superstar, taking over the part from Sara Lima. For the entire month of August 2008, Anabela and the entire company performed the musical in Portimão, in the Algarve.

In November 2008, Anabela participated in La Féria's newest musical production, Amor Sem Barreiras, the Portuguese adaptation of West Side Story, at Lisbon's Politeama.

In addition to being a recording artist and stage actress, Anabela is also known for her voiceover work as a singing voice. For Disney she was the singing voices for Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the title character in Mulan and Rapunzel in Tangled. In addition to her Disney voices, she was the singing voice for Kayley in The Quest for Camelot for Warner Bros. and the singing voice for Miriam in The Prince of Egypt for DreamWorks.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2002

Marie N

Date: May 25, 2002
Venue: Saku Suurhall, Tallinn, Estonia
Presenters: Annely Peebo, Marko Matvere
Director: Marius Bratten
Scruteneer: Christine Marchal-Ortiz
Host broadcaster: ETV
Interval act: Dance performance directed and choreographed by Teet Kask
Duration: 3 hours
Number of entries: 24
Debuting countries: -
Returning countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Romania, Switzerland
Withdrawing countries: Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal
Winning Song: I Wanna - Marie N, Latvia
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs


01. Cyprus: One - Gimme (6th place, 85 points)
02. UK: Jessica Garlick - Come vack (3rd place, 111 points)
03. Austria: Manuel Ortega - Say a word (18th place, 26 points)
04. Greece: Michalis Rakintzis - S.A.G.A.P.O. - 17th place, 27 points)
05. Spain: Rosa - Europe's living a celebration (7th place, 81 points)
06. Croatia: Vesna Pisarović - Everything I want (11th pace, 44 points)
07. Russia: Prime Minister - Northern girl (10th place, 55 points)
08. Estonia: Sahlene - Runaway (3rd place, 111 points)
09. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Karolina Gočeva - Od nas zavisi (19th place, 25 points)
10. Israel: Sarit Hadad - Light a candle (12th place, 37 points)
11. Switzerland: Francine Jordi - Dans le jardin de mon âme (22nd place, 15 points)
12. Sweden: Afro-dite - Never let it go (8th place, 72 points)
13. Finland: Laura Voutilainen - Addicted to you (20th place, 24 points)
14. denmark: Malene - Tell me who you are (24th place, 7 points)
15. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Maja Tatić - Na jastuku za dvoje (13th place, 33 points)
16. Belgium: Sergio & The Ladies - sister (13th place, 33 points)
17. France: Sandrine François - Il faut du temps (5th place, 104 points)
18. Germany: Corinna May - I can't live without music (21st place, 17 points)
19. Turkey: Buket Bengisu & Group Safir - Leylaklar soldu kalbinde (16th place, 29 points)
20. Malta: Ira Losco - 7th Wonder (2nd place, 164 points)
21. Romania: Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel - Telle me why (9th place, 71 points)
22. Slovenia: Sestre - Samo ljubezen (13th place, 33 points)
23. Latvia: Marie N - I wanna (1st place, 176 points)
24. Lithuania: Aivaras - Happy you (23rd place, 12 points)


The Eurovision Song Contest 2002 was the 47th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place on May 25 2002 at the Saku Suurhall Arena in Tallinn, Estonia.

The contest was won by Latvia's Marie N and her song I Wanna, which won by a tight margin over Malta's Ira Losco. Third place went to both the United Kingdom and host country Estonia, with France completing the Top 5.

I Wanna was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 performed in English by Marie N representing Latvia. With this victory, Latvia became the second Baltic state to win the Contest. The song was written by Marie Naumova and Marats Samauskis.

Jessica Garlick

The song is particularly famous for Marie's performance. She began wearing a white suit and a trilby hat, which was removed by one of her dancers. As the song continued, other dancers removed her suit jacket and her dark shirt, revealing the top of a red dress. The suit trousers were then removed, revealing the bottom half of the short dress. On the final beat of the song, the hem was pulled, revealing the dress to be much longer. This visual performance was also supported by a Salsa-style song, which made full use of the more up-beat tempos increasingly finding success in the Contest.


There had been worries about whether Estonian broadcaster ETV would be able to fund the event; however, worries were put to rest when a combination of fundraising activities and the Estonian Government enabled them to host the event. The theme implemented for this year's contest was a modern fairytale, which was evident in the postcards aired between the songs, which showed classic fairytales ending with Estonian situations.

The show began with 2001 winners Tanel Padar and Dave Benton performing a reprise of their winning entry Everybody. The hosts for the evening, Annely Peebo and Marko Matvere, gave a performance of A Little Story in the Music, composed by Raimond Valgre and arranged especially for the event, during the commercial break between the songs from Sweden and Finland.

Sarit Hadad

A total of 24 countries competed in the 2002 Contest, which included the top 17 countries from the previous years contest, alongside the seven returning countries which had been relegated from competing in the 2001 Contest. These countries replaced the bottom 6 countries from the 2001 contest, which were relegated from taking part in this year's Contest.

The total participants had originally been 22, but when the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) increased their participation number for the Contest to 24 this granted Israel and Portugal the opportunity to enter. Portugal declined to enter the Contest due to internal problems in the Portuguese broadcaster RTP. This allowed Latvia (who went on to win the Contest) to enter.[3][4]

Controversy erupted during the competition over remarks by commentators on Swedish and Belgian TV, both of whom told the audience not to vote for the Israeli singer Sarit Hadad. Hadad received zero points from the Swedish audience but earned two from the Belgians, finishing 12th overall.


The Danes suffered the same fate at this contest, as the Norwegians had suffered some years earlier. Denmark won in 2000, came second in 2001 and last in 2002. Norway won in 1995, came second in 1996 and last in 1997, where it picked up its fourth nul points, a Eurovision record for the most scorless entries. The Danish entry in 2002, Malene Mortensen, had been one of the favorites to win.


Half of the participating countries organized a televote where the top 10 songs received the points, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12, but FYR Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina used juries, while Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Malta, Slovenia and Lithuania used a 50-50 mix of both televoting and jury votes. This was used as it had become apparent that the public vote favored songs in the later part of the running order in comparison to the songs nearer to the start - particularly in the preceding 2001 contest. This year saw allegations that the juries in use were guilty of swapping votes between each other.

 Ira Losco

Returning artists

Two atists returned to the contest. Constantinos Christoforou, member of the Cypriot band One, represented Cyprus in 1996 and Monica Anghel represented Romania in 1996 but stranded in the Pre-qualifying round.

Marcel Bezençon Awards

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Fan Award.Monica Anghel

Artists Award: Sweden, Afro-dite - Never let it go
Fan Award: Finland, Laura Voutilainen - Addicted to you
Press Award: France, Sandrine François - Il faut du temps

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2001

 Tanel Padar & Dave Benton

Date: May 12, 2001
Venue: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
Presenters: Natasja Crone Back, Søren Pilmark
Director: Jan Frifelt
Scruteneer: Christine Marchal-Ortiz
Host broadcaster: DR
Interval act: Aqua and Safri Duo
Duration: 3 hours
Number of entries: 23
Debuting countries: -
Returning countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia
Withdrawing countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Romania, Switzerland
Winning Song: Everybody - Tanel Padar, Dave Benton, 2XL, Estonia
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs


01. The Netherlands: Michelle - Out on my own (18th place, 16 points)
02. Iceland: Two Tricky - Angel (22nd place, 3 points)
03. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Nino Pršeš - Hano (14th place, 29 points)
04. Norway: Haldor Lægreid - On my own (22nd place, 3 points)
05. Israel: Tal Sondak - En davar (16th place, 25 points)
06. Russia: Mumiy Troll - Lady alpine blue (12th place, 37 points)
07. Sweden: Friends - Listen to your heartbeat (5th place, 100 points)
08. Lithuania: Skamp - You got style (13th place, 35 points)
09. Latvia: Arnis Mednis - Too much (18th place, 16 points)
10. Croatia: Vanna - Strings of my heart (10th place, 42 points)
11. Portugal: MTM - Só sei ser feliz assim (17th place, 18 points)
12. Ireland: Gary O'Shaughnessy - Without your love (21st place, 6 points)
13. Spain: David Civera - Dile que la quiero (6th place, 76 points)
14. France: Natasha St-Pier - Je n'ai que mon âme (4th place, 142 points)
15. Turkey: Sedat Yüce - Sevgiliye Son (11th place, 41 points)
16. UK: Lindsay Dracass - No dream impossible (15th place, 28 points)
17. Slovenia: Nuša Derenda - Energy (7th place, 70 points)
18. Poland: Piasek - 2 Long (20th place, 11 points)
19. Germany: Michelle - Wer liebe lebt (8th place, 66 points)
20. Estonia: Tanel Padar, Dave Benton, 2XL - Everybody (1st place, 198 points)
21. Malta: Fabrizio Faniello - Another summer night (9th place, 48 points)
22. Greece: Antique - Die for you (3rd place, 147 points)
23. Denmark: Rollo & King - Never ever let it go (2nd place, 177 points)


The Eurovision Song Contest 2001 was the 46th Eurovision Song Contest and was held on May 12 2001 in the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was the first time in 36 years that Denmark hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, thanks to the Olsen Brothers' win the previous year in Stockholm. The Olsen Brothers Opened the show with a snippet from their winning song Fly on the Wings of Love, followed by their latest single Walk Right Back, which was already a smash hit in Denmark. The presenters were Danish journalist and TV-show presenter Natasja Crone Back and the famous Danish actor Søren Pilmark who spoke most of their announcements in rhyme. The contest was won by Estonia who were represented by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL with the song Everybody, written by Ivar Must and Maian Karmas. Dave Benton, from Aruba, was the first black person to win the contest.


The venue choice for the contest was the Parken Stadium, a football stadium in the Indre Østerbro (Inner Østerbro) district of Copenhagen, Denmark, built from 1990–1992. A total of 35,000 spectators saw the show live from within the stadium, breaking a record held by the previous hosts Sweden in 2000.


The logo of the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest was made out of four circles, placed in the shape of a heart. The four circles were also present in the stage design, with the light construction was made of the same four rings.


The Danish national broadcaster faced some problems whilst organising the contest such as the lack of funds and the search for a suitable venue. The event was eventually located in the football stadium Parken, after the company running the stadium agreed to add a retractable roof to the building. This solution made it the biggest venue ever to host a Eurovision Song Contest, but the scale of it wasn't entirely a success: many of the 38,000 people in the audience could not see the stage, and for many entries the hall appeared to be too big.

All of the countries participating in this year's Eurovision were required to use televoting for the first time after becoming compulsory. The jury backup votes were only used by some countries with either technical problems with their televotes or a weak fixed-telephone infrastructure. Further changes occurred in the qualification process for the 2002 Contest: along with the "Big 4" countries, the top 15 placed countries of the country would qualify for next year's competition. The other spots for 2002 would be filled by countries that were excluded from the 2001 contest because of their low point average for the years 1996-2000.

France, Greece and Slovenia were the heavy favourites to win the contest, however as the voting progressed it became a two-horse race between Denmark and Estonia, with Estonia ending as the unexpected winner.

 Fabrizio Faniello


Controversy was again rife in the 2001 Contest: the United Kingdom TV commentator Terry Wogan repeatedly made critical comments about the hosts and dubbed them "Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy/The Little Mermaid" after providing their entire commentary in rhyming couplets. The Danes were so offended that the BBC was obliged to issue an apology on Wogan's comments. Controversy also surrounded the Swedish song, Listen To Your Heartbeat, which was repeatedly accused as a plagiarism of the Belgian entry for the 1996 Contest, Liefde is een kaartspel. Eventually the EBU decided for the matter to be settled in court, with the song allowed to compete as long as the courts did not declare the song as plagiarism.

During the voting the Danish band Aqua performed with a medley of their singles, with percussion ensemble Safri Duo performing in the medley. Although enjoyable, people complained about it being a little bit rude as there was some swearing during the performance, both at the beginning and end of Barbie Girl.

Partcipating countries

Due to the EBU's relegation rule of the lowest ranked countries from the contest had to miss the follow year's contest, meant several countries had to withdraw, while relegated countries from the 1999 contest were able to return this year. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, and Slovenia returned, while Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Macedonia, Romania, and Switzerland withdrew, as they were the lowest ranking countries from the 2000 contest. This brought the total number of participating countries to twenty-three.


Returning artists

No returning acts were present this year, the first time it happened since 1989.


The majority of participating countries held a televote, where the top ten most voted for songs were awarded the 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points. This year the EBU introduced for the first time a mix of voting systems (50% televoting and 50% jury) for those countries that didn't want to use 100% televoting. According to the EBU rules (published on 05/10/00), every broadcaster was free to make a choice between the full televoting system and the mixed 50-50 system. In exceptional circumstances, where televoting was not possible at all, only a jury was used: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey and Russia. Only a few countries are confirmed to have used the mixed voting system: Croatia, Greece and Malta.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Ketil Stokkan

Ketil Stokkan

Ketil Stokkan (born April 29 1956, in Harstad) is a Norwegian pop artist who has performed as solo artist as well as a singer in the Norwegian band Zoo.

In 1983 he participated in the Norwegian qualifying heat for Eurovision Song contest with the song Samme charmeur which was placed second.

In 1986 he won the national Eurovision Song Contest with the song Romeo, written by himself, which came 12th on homeground in the Eurovision Song Contest final, which that year was held in Bergen, Norway. In 1990 he won the national final again with the song Brandenburger Tor, the song ended up last tied with Finland. Ketil Stokkan now works as a secondary school teacher in Harstad.

Ketil had released many singles and albums as a solo artist and with the band Zoo.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2000

 Olsen Brothers

Date: May 13, 2000
Venue: Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
Presenters: Kattis Åhlström, Anders Lundin
Director: Marius Bratten
Scruteneer: Christine Marchal-Ortiz
Host broadcaster: SVT
Interval act: Street Musicians from Stockholm
Duration: 3 hours, 2 minutes
Number of entries: 24
Debuting countries: Latvia
Returning countries: Finland, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Switzerland
Withdrawing countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia
Winning Song: Fly on the Wings of Love - Olsen Brothers, Denmark
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs


01. Israel: PingPong - Sameyakh (22nd place, 7 points)
02. The Netherlands: Linda Wagenmakers - No goodbyes (13th place, 40 points)
03. UK: Nicki French - Don't play that song again (16th place, 28 points)
04. Estonia: Ines - Once in a lifetime (4th place, 98 points)
05. France: Sofia Mestari - On aura le ciel (23rd place, 5 points)
06. Romania: Taxi - the moon (17th place, 25 points)
07. Malta: Claudette Pace - Desire (8th place, 73 points0
08. Norway: Charmed - My heart goes boom (11th place, 57 points)
09. Russia: Alsou - Solo (2nd place, 155 points)
10. Belgium: Nathalie Sorce - Envie de vivre (24th place, 2 points0
11. Cyprus: voice - Nomiza (21st place, 8 points)
12. Iceland: August & Telma - Tell me! (12th place, 45 points)
13. Spain: Serafín Zubiri - Colgado de un sueño (18th place, 18 points)
14. Denmark: Olsen Brothers - Fly on the wings of love (1st place, 195 points)
15. Germany: Stefan Raab - Wadde hadde dudde da? (5th place, 96 points)
16. Switzerland: Jane Bogaert - La vita cos'è? (20th place, 14 points)
17. Croatia: Goran Karan - Kad zaspu andeli (9th place, 70 points)
18. Sweden: Roger Pontare - When Spirits Are Calling My Name (7th place, 88 points)
19. F.Y.R. Macedonia: XXL - 100% te ljubam (15th place, 29 points)
20. Finland: Nina Åström - A little bit (18th place, 18 points)
21. Latvia: Brainstorm - My star (3rd place, 136 points)
22. Turkey: Pinar Ayhan & the SOS - Yorgunum anla (10th place, 59 points)
23. Ireland: Eamonn Toal - Millennium of love (6th place, 92 points)
24. Austria: The Rounder Girls - All to you (14th place, 34 points)

 Linda Wagenmakers

The Eurovision Song Contest 2000 was the 45th Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 13 May 2000 at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, following Charlotte Nilsson's victory in Jerusalem the previous year. It was the first time since 1996 that the contest was held on mainland Europe. The contest was the second to be held in Stockholm, and the fourth held in Sweden. The presenters were Kattis Ahlström and Anders Lundin, and the contest was won by the Olsen Brothers who represented Denmark with the song Fly on the Wings of Love (originally: Smuk som et stjerneskud). The song was written by one of the brothers, Jørgen Olsen.


The Globe Arena was, at the time, the largest venue chosen to host the contest with a capacity of 16,000 spectators. The postcards used to introduce each country participating involved Swedish themes that incorporated each nation in some respect. The logo for the contest, a pair of open mouth lips, was chosen by SVT, and was described by its designers as "a sensual, yet stylistically pure mouth representing song, dialogue and speech", and was later one of the possible choices for the generic logo introduced at the 2004 Contest.

The favourite in this year's contest was Estonia, who was also a fan favourite and praised by the press. However, as the voting results came in, Denmark immediately took control of the scoreboard, beating Russia into second place and Latvia into 3rd place.

For the first time, an official CD compilation was released; it contained all of the songs of the participating nations and was available throughout Europe. Such a disc was attempted in the previous year, however it lacked four of the competing songs.

Participating countries

Slovakia, Greece and Hungary decided not to compete for financial reasons. The countries with the five lowest average scores over the previous five contests who had participated in 1999, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia were excluded meaning that five countries could return. These countries were: Finland, Macedonia, Romania, Russia and Switzerland. Latvia also joined contest as the only country to debut.



There were some controversies concerning some participating countries. Israel, who opened the contest, entered a group who waved Israeli and Syrian flags advocating peace between the two nations. The two male singers in the group also ran up to each other and kissed for a brief moment. The Russian delegation petitioned for the winning Olsen Brothers to be disqualified, after they had used a vocoder to give Jørgen Olsen an electronic sound to his voice, during one of the verses of their performance. This issue was rejected by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The intermission during the finale of the ESC was Once Upon a Time Europe Was Covered With Ice, a movie/song directed, composed and edited by Johan Söderberg and produced by John Nordling. For the film Söderberg had traveled all over Europe to record children performing the score. On stage were violinist Caroline Lundgren, drummer Strängnäs Trumkorps plus street musicians from Stockholm and dancers from the Bounce Street Dance Company.

In the Netherlands, NOS decided to take the Contest off air halfway through because of the Enschede fireworks disaster that happened earlier that day, so it could use the channel for continuous news broadcasts. Later, NOS declared that it was both for practical reasons as well as because they found it "inappropriate to broadcast a light entertainment programme on the night of such a catastrophic event". As a result, televoting had to be suspended and the Dutch votes were given by a stand-by jury instead.

The contest was also broadcast in Canada, Australia, Japan, the United States and via the internet for the first time.


According to the EBU rules of the 45th Eurovision Song Contest 2000 (published on 23 September 1999), all participating countries should have used televoting, where the top ten most voted for songs were awarded the 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points. In exceptional circumstances where televoting was not possible, a jury was used instead: Russia, Macedonia, Turkey and Romania. The Dutch votes were the votes of the backup jury due to interrupted broadcasting of the contest in the Netherlands because of the fireworks disaster in the Dutch town of Enschede.

Returning artists

Three artists returned to the ESC this year. Alexandros Panayi, member of Voice, represented Cyprus in 1995, Serafín Zubiri participated Sweden in 1992 and Roger Pontare represented Sweden in 1994.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 1999

Charlotte Nilsson

Date: May 24, 1999
Venue: International Convention Center, Jerusalem, Israel
Presenters: Dafna Dekel, Yigal Ravid, Sigal Shahamon
Directors: Aharon Goldfinger, Hagay Mautner, Amnon Barkay
Scruteneer: Christine Marchal-Ortiz
Host broadcaster: IBA
Price presenter: Dana International
Interval act: Dana International, performing Free
Duration: 3 hours, 14 minutes
Number of entries: 23
Debuting countries: -
Returning countries: Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania
Withdrawing countries: Finland, Greece, Hungary, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland
Winning Song: Take Me To Your Heaven - Charlotte Nilsson, Sweden
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs

Béatrice & Dino


01. Lithuania: Aistė - Strazdas (20th place, 13 points)
02. Belgium: Vanessa Chinitor - Like the wind (12th place, 38 points)
03. Spain: Lydia - No quiero escuchar (23rd place, 1 point
04. Croatia: Doris Dragović - Marija Magdalena (4th place, 118 points)
05. UK: Precious - Say it again (12th place, 38 points)
06. Slovenia: Darja Švajger - For a thousand years (11th place, 50 points)
07. Turkey: Tuğba Önal & Grup Mistik - Dön Artık (16th place, 21 points)
08. Norway: Stig van Eijk - Living my life without you (14th place, 35 points)
09. Denmark: Trine Jepsen & Michael Teschl - This time I mean it (8th place, 71 points)
10. France: Nayah - Je veux donner ma voix (19th place, 14 points)
11. The Netherlands: Marlayne - One good reason (8th place, 71 points)
12. Poland: Mietek Szcześniak - Przytul mnie mocno (18th place, 17 points)
13. Iceland: Selma - All out of luck (2nd place, 146 points)
14. Cyprus: Marlain - Tha 'ne erotas (22nd place, 2 points)
15. sweden: Charlotte Nilsson - Take me to your heaven (1st place, 163 points)
16. Portugal: Rui Bandeira - Como tudo começou (21st place, 12 points)
17. Ireland: The Mullans - When you need me (17th place, 18 points)
18. Austria: Bobby Singer - Reflection (10th place, 65 points)
19. Israel: Eden - Yom Huledet (Happy Birthday) (5th place, 93 points)
20. Malta: Times Three - Believe 'n peace (15th place, 32 points)
21. Germany: Sürpriz - Reise nach Jerusalem - Kudüs'e seyahat (3rd place, 140 points)
22. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Dino & Béatrice - Putnici (7th place, 86 points)
23. Estonia: Evelin Samuel & Camille - Diamond of night (6th place, 90 points)


The Eurovision Song Contest 1999 was the 44th Eurovision Song Contest, held on May 29, 1999 in Jerusalem, Israel after Dana International won the contest the previous year in the United Kingdom. The venue for the contest was the Ussishkin Auditorium at the International Convention Center,the same place who´s was hosted the 1979 contest. Television anchor news Yigal Ravid, singer and 1992 contestant Dafna Dekel and model/actress Sigal Shahamon were the show's hosts, and it was the first time that three presenters were used to host the Contest. Israel's two previous winners, Izhar Cohen, who won in 1978 with A-Ba-Ni-Bi and Milk and Honey's Gali Atari who won it the next year with Hallelujah attended as spectators. The winner of the Contest was Charlotte Nilsson, representing Sweden with Take Me to Your Heaven, which scored 163 points. This was Sweden's fourth win in the Contest and the second in the 1990s (after Carola's win for Sweden in 1991). Take Me to Your Heaven was written by Lars Diedricson and Marcos Ubeda and is and  is an up-beat song about love, with the singer asking her lover to take her to heaven by loving her. Some fans have argued that it is derivative of previous Swedish 1974 winner ABBA.


In the run-up to the Contest, many speculated that it would not be held in Israel, but would be moved to either Malta or the United Kingdom (the countries that completed the top 3 of the 1998 Contest). This came about after major concerns over funding for the event from the Israeli government arose, alongside the opposition from Orthodox Jews that they would attempt to stop the Contest from coming to Israel after Dana International won the previous year's Contest. This, however, provided no hindrance for IBA or to the organising team of the event, and the International Convention Center in Jerusalem was selected as the venue for the 44th Contest.


Long-standing rules in place for decades were abolished during this Contest: rules that each country had to sing in one of their national languages was abolished for the first time since 1977. A majority of the participating countries, thirteen out of twenty-three, chose to sing entirely or partly in English and only nine entirely in their respective national languages; Lithuania, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, France, Cyprus, Portugal and Turkey. Furthermore, live music became optional for the first time in the Contest's history. IBA took advantage of this and decided to drop the orchestra from the Contest as a way to conserve money for the show. This meant that for the first time all entries used backing track during their performances. This caused controversy for Eurovision traditionalists, with three-time winner Johnny Logan criticising the move, describing the event now as karaoke.

In was announced in 1999 that, as of the 2000 Contest, the four biggest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – Germany, Spain, France and the United Kingdom – would all be given automatic entry into the Contest, regardless of their average scores over the past five years.

The favourites to win the Contest came from Iceland's Selma with All Out of Luck, and Cyprus's Marlain with Tha 'Ne Erotas, after an internet poll by fans. But, while Iceland finished second to Sweden (the country's best showing in the contest), Cyprus failed to inspire televotes, finishing second last with only two points, both from the United Kingdom.


A number of controversies occurred before the Contest. Two songs selected to compete in Israel were found to be ineligible: Bosnia and Herzegovina's Hari Mata Hari were disqualified after their entry was discovered to have been released in Finland some years previously; Germany's Corinna May was also disqualified after her song was revealed to have been released in 1997 by a different singer. Both artists would eventually represent their countries in Eurovision, in 2006 and 2002 respectively.

Croatia's entry attracted objections from the Norwegian delegation, due to synthesised male vocals being used on the backing track of Doris Dragović's entry. The EBU decided to reduce the country's score by a third for the purpose of calculating its five-year average to determine participation in future contests, though it was decided to leave its placement in the 1999 result unaffected.

The interval act was provided by Dana International, who performed a cover of the Stevie Wonder song Free, which caused some controversy in Israel due to the song's lyric. Dana International also appeared at the end of the show, giving the winning trophy to Nilsson. After pretending that the trophy was too heavy to lift, she fell to the stage, bringing down the winning composers with her. At this, security forces threw themselves upon her, think it to be a terrorist attack. The show finished with the three presenters inviting everyone on stage to sing a rendition of the English version of Hallelujah, the Israeli winner from the 1979 Contest, as a tribute to the victims of the Balkan War, who were unable to view the contest after the bombing resulted in their transmitters being blown up.

Vanessa Chinitor

A compilation CD was made and released in Israel, with the idea of containing all the competing songs on one CD. However, the songs from Poland, Cyprus, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were not included, thus defeating the idea. Furthermore, unlike similar CDs released from the following year's Contest onwards, it was not an official release by the EBU.


Each country had a televote, where the top ten most voted-for songs were awarded the 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points, with the exceptions of Turkey, Lithuania, Ireland and Bosnia & Herzegovina who used juries.

After some thoroughly confusing thrills and spills in the early voting, with Lithuania awarding maximum points to the — for once — rank outsiders Ireland, the contest soon settled into a nip-and-tuck duel between Sweden and Iceland, but with Iceland more often than not holding a slight lead. The fortunes of Germany were more erratic - on a few occasions, their challenge seemed to be failing, only for a couple of high scores to haul them back to within striking distance of the leading pair. That appeared to be the case once again when the penultimate voting country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, handed ten points to the Germans. This momentarily distracted attention from the fact that the Balkan nation had not yet awarded any points to Sweden or Iceland, meaning that one of the two was bound to receive nothing. With Charlotte Nilsson of Sweden already having crept into a three-point lead at a crucial moment, the realisation quickly dawned that, while twelve points for Iceland would put them back into a commanding position, twelve points for Sweden would settle the contest in abrupt fashion.

Trine Jepsen & Michael Teschl

Participating countries

Latvia had attempted to participate in the Contest for the first time, but withdrew at a late stage. This gave Hungary a chance to enter the Contest; however, Magyar Televízió decided not to take part. This allowed Portugal to compete as the 23rd country.

Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark and Iceland returned to the Contest after being relegated from competing in 1998. Lithuania also returned to the Contest for the first time in five years. The Lithuanian delegation had had budget problems to contend with, and so the EBU allowed the Lithuanians to arrive in Israel a day later than everyone else. The first delegation on the other hand to walk the Holy Land were Estonia.

After being relegated from the 1998 Contest, Russia's Channel One had decided not to broadcast that year's contest, in order to allow for a strong comeback in Israel. However, as only countries which had broadcast the previous year's contest were allowed to enter the next year's contest, Russia was forced to miss another year. They were joined by Finland, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland; the countries with the lowest average scores over the previous five years.

Returning Artists

Two artists returned to the contest this year. Doris Dragović represented Yugoslavia in 1986 and Darja Švajger represented Slovenia in 1995.